A big 7.4 magnitude earthquake hits Nepal again today at 12:30 local time. The new shock came after 17 days of 7.8 magnitude mega-quake. Recent Gorkha earthquake and aftershocks have caused a lot of casualties. Today’s tremor was felt in 31 districts of Nepal. The epicenter was 80 km away from Kathmandu. The center was 19 km below the surface. The shock was felt in Delhi in India, Dhaka of Bangladesh and in Tibet too.
This earthquake is caused by striking of Indian tectonic plate and the Eurasian plate. The residents of Nepal and especially Kathmandu are more terrified than ever. The aftershocks are not stopping even after 17 days. Some people who started moving into their houses from tents are again in the out under the open sky. Nepalese people are now more terrified. Many buildings that were damaged in the last quake are now severely damaged. The additional new shocks caused many structures to collapse.
People came out of their houses in terror after the new earthquake today. Many people were actually caused due to running. Some school children and office workers are also injured. It was Saturday on April 25th last month. Therefore, schools and offices were closed. It saved a lot of people from running accidents and stampede. Usually, such disasters always case stampede and deaths. Many people get an injury from falling structural elements.
We are based on Kathmandu and we are currently operating from a temporary tent outside our office. People are all living under tarpaulin tents. As it is summer, snakes, rain, and mosquitoes are major threats. According to news outlets, the center was near Kodari. The center is near Namchebazar which lies in Solukhumbu district. Death tolls have increased because previously weakened structures were damaged. There is news of landslides and blockades in highways as well.
Nepali Government is taking aids from various countries, international organizations like UNICEF, etc. Tribhuvan International Airport is the only international airport and it is not being able to handle the traffic. Lots of airplanes are in the hold in the airspace. Many countries are providing help in different parts. Some are donating food, clothes, medicines, etc. Above all, the American Osprey helicopters are assessing affected districts. US helicopters and Indian helicopters are assessing local areas. The relief is still coming and Nepali forces are still working to help.
Viber is providing their paid service Viber out has for free. Skype is also providing free international VoIP calls. Nepali telecom companies both NTC and Ncell were congested immediately after the quake. They are also trying to provide the best service. We found that mobile networks congest immediately after the quake because everyone tries to call their loved ones. However, landlines functioned well and they worked as really stable means of communication.
Buildings, Structures, and Damage
Structural damages are very high in old buildings. Houses in hilly areas are severely damaged. Similarly, a small portion of Kathmandu-Bhaktapur highway subsided. The road sections fall under Araniko Highway. Road authorities are fixing the road. Many people are still leaving Kathmandu valley. Most people are going to the Terai plains.
There are more damages in older settlements of Kathmandu such as Bungamati, Sankhu, Chapagaun, etc. Nepal Telecom and Nepal Electricity Authority staffs are working 24/7 to repair damages. Fixing broken poles, broken lines, transmission and reconnecting house connections are top priorities. Internet services providers are also repairing the damages. Many ISP like NTC, Worldlink are providing free internet service to their users.
Authorities are now assessing buildings. They are mainly assessing and studying public buildings. This is to identify high-risk structures. The authorities are also giving rating and stickers to building according to safety. Government is already planning for reconstruction and retrofitting of damaged buildings.